6 Ways You Can Help SC Birth Centers Stay Open

Have you heard? DHEC is in the process of shutting down birth centers in South Carolina, the state where I live. I had two lovely birth center births. Both Marcella and Jude were born in a South Carolina birth center. I can’t imagine not having that option. But we can fight back!

Even if you don’t personally want a birth center birth, someone you love may, and this is a matter of women being stripped of their right to the choice of where to give birth. This is wrong. Imagine that your rights are being affected if this isn’t personally something that affects you because in reality this does affect us all. Next time it could be your rights being infringed upon.

Time is of the essence so, with that in mind, here are six ways you can help!

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How You Can Help

  1. Sign the petition online!
  2. Write or call your legislator and tell them you want women in South Carolina to have their right to a birth center birth to remain an option. Tell them the current reinterpretation is ridiculous and makes no sense and does not serve South Carolina women.
  3. Write or call DHEC. Ms. Templeton is the director of SC DHEC and is very aware of the situation. She is finally willing to talk but initially was uninterested to the point that when the birth center lawyers met with DHEC’s lawyers she did not have the courtesy to attend the meeting.

    Catherine Templeton, Director
    2600 Bull Street,
    Columbia, SC 29201
    (803) 898-3432

    Email: info@dhec.sc.gov

  4. Write or call the governor.

    Governor Nikki R. Haley
    Office of the Governor
    1205 Pendleton Street
    Columbia, SC 29201
    (803) 734-2100

    Email the Governor

  5. Attend a rally. Monday, December 2, 10:00am at each county health department we will be meeting. There are letter writing gathering and sign making events you can be involved in. “Like” Bye Bye Birth Centers on Facebook to get the latest developments and find out how you can help.They also have listed the various DHEC rallies.
  6. Write your DHEC district representative. To find your representative, click on each one and then click on the link to their district under their bio. A map will pull up showing the district they represent. If you live in Greenville, your representative is Clarence Batts, Jr.

    DHEC
    2600 Bull Street,
    Columbia, SC 29201

    Email: LUCASLM@dhec.sc.gov

Sample Letter

Below is a sample letter you can copy and paste and edit as you need to.

Dear [Please insert name],

As a parent and voter in SC, it greatly upsets me to see government interpretation of regulations change and endanger families. I believe this is what is happening now with the recent change in interpretation of the SC Birth Center regulations.

DHEC is threatening all birth centers with closure because they have inexplicably reinterpreted a regulation without cause. They are now requiring physicians to agree to be onsite to provide medical consult whereas before they need only be on-call. Can you see how dangerous this is? Emergent situations cannot wait for a doctor to arrive and would delay transfers to a hospital, if needed.

We all want to protect our families. Birth centers have been safely providing for mothers and their families for over 13 years. These changes impact your voters in a negative way and take away a women’s freedom to choose how and where she can give birth in our state.

I urge you to protest this interpretation and show your respect and concern for your voters. I’m appalled that DHEC wants to strip the women of South Carolina of our rights.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

Labors of Love Birth Center Update

As for my birth center, they are in negotiations with DHEC through their lawyer. The plan is to introduce a bill in January that will do away with this regulation. They are asking for a “stay” in order to stay open until something can be worked out.

Please help by sharing this post with everyone! The more of us that “shout”, the louder we will be!

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